6 hours ago
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Their sweet, summery flavor makes mangoes a perfect dessert fruit. Here, they're caramelized and served over vanilla ice cream. I've seen recipes for mango ice cream, but if I had an ice cream maker I'd weigh 900 pounds, so I just use store-bought Blue Bell (and really, how can you go wrong with Blue Bell ice cream?).
2/3 cup sugar
To dice a mango, stand it on its end with the stem pointing up. Take a sharp paring knife and place the blade close to the stem. Slice down, as close to the seed as possible, making sure you're cutting the "face" off the mango, not the edge. Slice the other side off. Slice off the edges. Score the mango halves in a checkerboard pattern, then press gently on the skin side to turn them inside out. Slice off the dice pieces. (This is a terrible explanation. Check here for one with photos.) Set the diced mango aside.
Heat the sugar in a skillet or saucepan, stirring to keep it from sticking or burning. Keep an eye on it as it melts, and add the mangoes when the sugar is liquid but still mostly clear. If you add it after the sugar has thickened and turned tan (become caramel), the cool mango will make the caramel clump up and it's difficult to work with. It still tastes great, though.
Cook the caramel and mango until the sauce is dark brown, but not burnt. When it reaches the color of peanut butter it's perfect. Serve over ice cream. You don't need to serve immediately -- it'll stay soft and warm for a couple of hours.
P.S. Those are grilled mangoes in the background of the photo. They were good, but not what I expected. I was hoping for something slightly sugary-caramely on the outside, from the sugars in the fruit being seared on the grill, but they were more like warm mango halves. Tasty, but not stunning.